Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) in United States

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Loeb & Loeb LLP’s 'exceptional' nonprofits team assists its impressive client roster with a full range of issues, leveraging the firm's litigation, real estate, corporate, and top-ranked advertising and marketing practices to provide comprehensive legal support to a variety of tax-exempt organizations. The group benefits from the experience of former regulators Jason Lilien in New York and Marcus Owens in Washington DC, both of whom have broad experience advising on governance matters, internal investigations and regulatory enforcement. Jointly leading the team alongside Lilien is Los Angeles-based tax planning specialist Leah Bishop and Diara Holmes in Washington DC, who acts both for nonprofit organizations in tax compliance and governance issues, and also for celebrities, high-net-worth individuals and families in establishing family foundations and donor-advised funds.

Other key lawyers:

Marcus Owens


This firm has an exceptional non-profit practice. Everyone who has worked with us are knowledgeable, competent and supportive. Partners and attorneys are extremely responsive and accessible.’

The attorneys are top notch. They are knowledgeable, approachable, and client oriented.

They care about our work as much as we do.

Partner Jason Lilien is amazing to work with! Jason not only provides exceptional service but really cares about our organization. His extensive experience, knowledge and competency in the non-profit sector, combined with incredible inter-personal skills and compassion for the work we do, is unique and rarely found in other firms I’ve engaged in my 50+ years of non-profit leadership.

Key clients

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation

Fidelis Care (New York State Catholic Health Plan)

North Congregational United Church of Christ

Work highlights

  • Assisted with the formation of Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, the largest charitable foundation focused on New York State with current assets of approximately $3.4bn.
  • Represented Fidelis Care in its $3.75bn sale to Cantene Corporation.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's tax-exempt organizations team, which is predominantly based in Washington DC, has 'a world of experience in counseling non-profit clients, large and small'. Falling within the firm's larger tax team — which is headed by Sillicon Valley-based Barton Bassett —the tax-exempt team is jointly led by Celia Roady, who specialises in advising on tax and governance issues; Matthew Elkin, who focuses on corporate transactions for tax-exempt clients; and Alexander Reid, who advises on a variety of planning, structuring, and transactional matters. Other names to note include associates Caroline Waldner and Shira Helstrom, both of whom have experience assisting clients with governance issues and initial formation, as well as applications for tax exemption. Beyond tax matters, the group also frequently works with its intellectual property, cybersecurity and data privacy, real estate, private equity investments and employment teams.

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Waldner; Shira Helstrom


The Morgan Lewis non-profit group has a world of experience in counseling non-profit clients, large and small.

The experience of their lawyers, particularly their senior lawyers, allows them to address most legal issues in an efficient and cost-effective fashion, without the need for costly research and memos.

The non-profit group includes attorneys with various levels of seniority so that projects can be managed in an efficient fashion.

Celia Roady’s reputation and credibility with her peers and with government officials has been extremely helpful to our firm.

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Based in New York, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP fields 'a strong, talented team of lawyers who are experts in all aspects of exempt organization law'. The group advises clients such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Rockefeller Foundation and The American Civil Liberties Union, on a range of issues from tax, governance, and regulatory compliance to intellectual property, employment law and litigation. Laura Butzel, who frequently advises on governance,  joint ventures and tax issues, heads the practice group, which also includes John Sare, a name to note for matters pertaining to charitable gifts and endowment funds; Robin Krause, who handles domestic and cross-border tax and corporate governance projects; and 'talented communicator' Tomer Inbar, who frequently advises on hybrid tax-exempt and corporate structures and affiliated organizations. Also recommended are Megan Bell and counsel Janine Shissler, who has particular experience assisting with charitable and program-related investments and the structuring of joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Laura Butzel


Patterson Belknap’s nonprofit practice has a wide-breadth of experience. They are extremely responsive and do a good job tailoring their advice to our specific situation and risk tolerance.

They have a very strong talented team who are experts in all aspects of exempt organization law. They are sophisticated and practical.  And they have a wide range of talented experts in the firm who supplement their work when the question at hand requires additional expertise.

Tomer Inbar is amazing to work with. He always makes time to handle urgent issues, is very pragmatic, responsive, and generally a lovely person to work with. Tomer is also a great counselor. He has great emotional intelligence skills that he combines with excellent technical legal advice. He is great with non-lawyers at my organization and is a talented communicator.

Susan Vignola, an associate within the practice, is also great to work with. She is cost-effective, responsive, and does a good job of checking with partners when appropriate on her work. She’s a delight to work with.

Work highlights

  • Advised an educational organization on establishing a loan fund for capital support for a network of public charter and private schools.
  • Representing a major US university in a dispute with another large institution over the ownership and control of a substantial endowment fund.
  • Advising a large international membership organization on governance and tax matters.
  • Acting for a major European university in relation to a large contribution by a US donor to establish a new academic center.
  • Advising two prominent artists on the establishment of a new cultural center that will operate as a public charity.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acts for a range of not-for-profit organizations, including private foundations, public charities, and social welfare organizations, as well as their governing boards and donors. The core team has strong tax, governance and corporate expertise, and leverages the firms full-service capabilities to assist with intellectual property, trusts and estates, and litigation matters. David Shevlin heads the practice; his experience ranges from advising universities, foundations, hospitals and cultural institutions on the investment of their endowments, to assisting governing bodies with internal investigations. Other names to note include senior counsel Jennifer Franklin, who handles a range of transactional and tax matters; counsel John Bennett who frequently advises universities, foundations, hospitals, cultural institutions on investment activities; and recently promoted counsel Maura Whelan, who specialises in formation and governance of nonprofit organizations and domestic and international grantmaking.

Practice head(s):

David Shevlin


Super professional, excellent work product and great at meeting deadlines.  Simpson’s nonprofit group provides superb advice on a range of tax exempt topics, including complex PRI and deal structures.  We have been particularly impressed with their support of our investment team and endowment – practical, cost-effective, timely and the firm’s strong investment expertise means they can always pull in an expert if needed.

Dave Shevlin is amazing to work with. His work product is always perfect and on time.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Gray Foundation on its donation of $25m in funding for seven multi-institutional research teams to study new approaches for the early detection, diagnosis and therapy of BRCA-related cancers.
  • Assisted David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation with the launch of Terra Silva, a $90m impact investing collaborative focused on investment in conservation, restoration and sustainable management of tropical forests worldwide.
  • Represented PepsiCo Foundation in its investment in The Ocean Fund, which has been formed as a social and environmental impact fund for the primary purpose of reducing pollution and ocean plastic and combating environmental deterioration.
  • Advised The Atlantic Philanthropies on its agreements with UC San Francisco and Trinity College Dublin to create the Global Brain Health Institute, a venture to stem the rise in dementia by training and connecting a new generation of leaders worldwide.
  • Assisted a large pharmaceuticals company with its $350m one-time charitable contribution to select not-for-profit organizations.

Venable LLP

Venable LLP's 'knowledgeable and responsive' nonprofit organizations team has the breadth of experience to assist its not-for-profit clients with a full range of matters. The 'fantasticCynthia Lewin leads the Washington DC-based team, which also includes George Constantine; both lawyers have broad practices, assisting clients with a range of compliance, tax exemption, governance and transactional matters. Other names to note include Eric Berman, who specialises in marketing issues for nonprofit clients; Ronald Jacobs, a name to note for investigations and enforcement actions; lobbying and political activities compliance expert Janice Ryan; and Baltimore-based tax and wealth planning partners Robert Waldman and Yosef Ziffer. Counsel Anne Gerson is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Lewin


Knowledgeable and responsive team. It’s great to work with a team that understands what you’re going through and which forces you’re dealing with.

Cynthia Lewin is fantastic. I appreciate that she has sat in my seat as a general counsel of a non-profit and understands the internal and external pressures, as well as having a firm grasp on the issues that arise. She has always been patient and kind no matter how large/small the issue.

Counsel Judith Kim is a bright and hard-working attorney who provides solid work on a timely basis. I’m not sure what we would do without Judith and her work is certainly a major reason we stick with Venable.

Key clients

ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

American Bar Association

American Medical Association

Carnegie Hall

Entertainment Industry Foundation


Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

NACE International

Project Management Institute

The Common Application


Volunteers of America

Work highlights

  • Advised The Common Application on its acquisition of Reach Higher, the college access campaign begun by former First Lady Michelle Obama; also assisting the client with intellectual property and brand protection matters.

Adler & Colvin

Based in San Francisco, Adler & Colvin is a specialist firm focused on the not-for-profit sector. The team has expertise in the formation of organizations, charitable gift planning, and nonprofit governance and ethics. A contact in the team is Robert Wexler, who focuses on tax and corporate matters for nonprofits and their donors.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP combines 'highly skilled and dedicated attorneys with deep expertise in tax' with a strong full-service offering to advise not-for-profit organizations on a full range of tax, corporate, intellectual property, litigation, labor, and real estate matters. With particular expertise in the sports and healthcare sectors, the team counts New York City Ballet, Pac 12 and the Hospital for Special Surgery among its clients. Practice head Amanda Nussbaum and David Miller, who are both based in New York, have core strengths both in tax-exempt and corporate tax matters, and are names to note for transactions involving the consolidation of for-profit and non-for-profit organizations.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Nussbaum

Other key lawyers:

David Miller


The group is comprised of highly skilled and dedicated attorneys with deep expertise in tax.

Each individual takes a tremendous amount of time with his/her client. They also try to be creative and practical with solutions they present to clients.

Key clients

Baruch College Fund

Hospital for Special Surgery

Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee

Maimonides Medical Center

Mount Sinai Health System

New York City Ballet

Power Five athletic conference defendants (Pac 12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, and SEC)

Presence Health Network

Princeton University

Public Interest Registry

The BIG EAST Conference

The Eclipse Foundation

The League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York (LVHH)

The Metropolitan Opera

Work highlights

  • Advised the Hospital for Special Surgery on a joint venture with a for-profit entity, Tenet Healthcare, and on the development and refining of its financial assistance policies.
  • Represented Public Interest Registry (PIR) in their sale to Ethos Capital.
  • Acted for Los Angeles 2028 Organizing Committee (LA 2028) as it prepares to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games; included advising on its joint venture with the US Olympic Committee and its partnership with NBCUniversal to package media inventory and sponsorship rights.
  • Advised the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York on its recent negotiations with 1199 for a new collective bargaining agreement (which  avoided a strike by hospital workers) and on the the implementation of that agreement.
  • Represented the New York City Ballet in an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP's tax-exempt practice has a strong reputation for advising not-for-profits in the healthcare and higher education sectors, and counts national academic medical centers, colleges and universities, hospitals, foundations and research institutions among its client list. Boston-based Kendi Ozmon heads the practice, and has a breadth of experience advising tax-exempt organizations on issues including governance, transactional matters, and IRS audits and rulings. Counsel Carolyn Ward in Washington DC advises not-for-profits on matters such as tax planning, governance, unrelated business income tax issues, endowments, charitable giving, and tax audits. Beyond healthcare and higher education, the group also handles charitable planning matters for private clients and cultural institutions, including museums and libraries.

Practice head(s):

Kendi Ozmon

Other key lawyers:

Carolyn Ward; Gil Ghatan

Work highlights

  • Represented Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in tax matters relating to its agreement with Tufts Health Plan to form a unified health insurance system under a common corporate parent.
  • Advised Emory Healthcare, the clinical arm of Emory University, on a collaboration with Kaiser Permanente to develop a new care model that provides Kaiser Permanente members with a fully integrated health care experience, and advances patient care in metropolitan Atlanta.
  • Represented Catalyst Institute (the nonprofit parent of a national integrated dental care delivery and finance system) in its sale to a private equity sponsor of a minority interest in its subsidiary, DentaQuest Group.
  • Acting for the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and a coalition of colleges and universities impacted by the new Section 4968 excise tax on net investment income.
  • Represent Stanford University and its health care division, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, in tax, employee benefits, executive compensation, bond financing, health care, antitrust and investment management matters.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is rated for its 'caring, understanding, and knowledgeable' nonprofits team, which stands out in particular for its experience in the healthcare sector. The group is jointly led by Los Angeles-based David Ulich and Tamar Rosenberg in New York, both of whom have experience advising a range of not-for-profit organizations on corporate and tax matters. Other names to note include corporate and tax expert Jay Gerzog, a key advisor for nonprofits in the healthcare sector, and 'talented' associate Amanda Zablocki, who attracts praise for her 'breadth of legal knowledge and understanding of nonprofit and tax-exempt law'. All attorneys referenced are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

David Ulich; Tamar Rosenburg

Other key lawyers:

Jay Gerzog; Amanda Zablocki


To work in the nonprofit sector, especially when the organization is in the ‘help others’ area, the law firm has to have attorneys comprised of people who are caring, understanding, and knowledgeable to guide the organization accordingly.  Our attorney and the team she works with at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP are such people, and the firm’s foundation is very much about helping others.

Amanda Zablocki provides much more than legal help; she lends a helping hand to make this world a better place.  Amanda cares! Cares about the wellbeing of the people we help, the work we do, and assists us in meeting our goals.

From the day we met Amanda and talked about our organization’s goals, we saw a talented attorney and a kind minded individual.

Amanda’s breadth of legal knowledge and understanding of nonprofit and tax-exempt law gives her the ability to explain the requirement clearly.  When Amanda does not have the legal answer on the spot, she goes to her fellow partners, consults law, and other references and then gets back to us stating the solution and then explains it to us clearly and concisely laden with examples.

From day 1, Amanda has been our gifted attorney, empowering coach, strict referee, master teacher, a caring friend, and a kind soul that has enabled us to gain traction each week in our effort to help others.  Knowing we have Amanda on our team truly allows us to bring our ‘A’ game every day we work.

Key clients

Adam Yauch Foundation

Advance Care Alliance of New York

Ahmanson Foundation

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

American Arbitration Association

Annenberg Foundation

Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnyland

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Archdiocese of New York

Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs

California Charter School Association

California Community Foundation

Catholic Charities of Los Angeles

CCOF Certification Services

Center for Family Support

Center for Sustainable Energy

Chemotherapy Foundation


Community Resource Center for the Development


Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare

Democracy Now Productions

District of Columbia Hospital Association

Entertainment Industry Foundation


Fire Family Foundation / Firefighters First Credit Union

Fore Batten Foundation

Foundation for Global Sports Development

Glennwood Housing Foundation

Glenwood Housing Foundation

Good Sheppard Services

Goodwill Industries of Southern California

H.O.M.E Foundation

Hopewell Fund

Hand In Hand Family Services

Independent Living Association


Jeffrey Carlton Charitable Foundation

Labor of Love

Lupus Foundation of America

Madera Community Hospital

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital

Montefiore Health System

MotorMVB Foundation

Mount Sinai Health System

New York City Health + Hospitals Corporation & MetroPlus

One Brooklyn Health System

Ounce of Prevention Fund

Para la Naturaleza and the Conservation Trust Fund of Puerto Rico


Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital

Project Concern International


Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange

Sandra and Lawrence Simon Family Foundation

San Diego Humane Society

Self Realization Fellowship

Shriners Hospital for Children

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Spark of Hope Foundation

Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation

St. Charles Health System

Sweetland of Freedom Foundation

Sun Valley CARE Development

SynGap Research Fund

Tenacre Foundation

The California Endowment

The Collaborative for Children and Families

The Greenlining Institute

The Huntington Library and Art Gallery

The Listen Charity USA

The Rauch Family Foundation

The Recovery and Resilience Foundation

The St Cyril Foundation

The Stan Lee Foundation

Trustee, Della Martin Foundation

US Fund for UNICEF

Visiting Nurse Service of New York

Voice of San Diego

Weingart Foundation


Work highlights

  • Advised Montefiore Health Syste on a broad range of matters from day-to-day compliance to transactional matters such as acquisitions and joint ventures.
  • Represented Sidewinder Media (a subsidiary of The Foundation of Global Sports Development, a California nonprofit tax-exempt entity) in relation to the creation of a documentary film entitled ‘Munich ’72 and Beyond’ related to the assassination of members of the Israel Olympic team at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
  • Advised Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange on structuring an entity for holding a title to property given various business and tax objectives; also advising on other tax exemption compliance matters.
  • Advising Investigative Newsource on an ongoing basis, including advice on risk mitigation with respect to material intended for publication.
  • Advised a large, well-known nonprofit with national presence on the adoption of a new executive compensation plan and address related tax-exemption compliance considerations.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Predominantly based in Washington DC, Steptoe & Johnson LLP's exempt organizations team handles a full range of issues covering tax, corporate and commercial transactions and real estate matters. Suzanne McDowell jointly leads the practice group alongside Catherine Wilkinson, who has experience advising on government investigations, IRS audits, and voluntary disclosures, as well as executive compensation issues and employment taxation. New York-based real estate partner James Carolan is also active in the nonprofit sector. Working alongside the firm's estate planning practice, the exempt organizations team also advises on charitable giving and private foundation issues. Former practice co-head Ruth Madrigal left the firm for KPMG, but Elinor Ramey joined from the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy.

Other key lawyers:

James Carolan; Elinor Ramey

Key clients

Economic Innovation Group (EIG)

American Institute of Physics

AIP Publishing

Wounded Warrior Project

Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD)


American Astronomical Society

Battelle Memorial Institute

Triad National Security

Art Students League of New York

National Congress of American Indians

Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences

Chicago Public Media (WBEZ)

Fuels Institute

National Association of Convenience Stores

Work highlights

  • Advising the American Astronomical Society on a range of issues including corporate governance and director fiduciary duties/potential liability issues, employment matters and EU data privacy compliance.
  • Advising the Art Students League of New York on tax, commercial and structuring issues for the creation of an online gallery, created and managed by, for the sale of artwork by the faculty of the Art Students League, and the sharing of proceeds among the website, faculty artists and the Art Students League.
  • Advised the National Association of Convenience Stores on a range of issues, including a hotel contract dispute and data security.
  • Acting for the National Congress of American Indians and its charitable affiliate NCAI Fund in the structuring of a single-member limited liability company to operate an online newspaper.

Arent Fox LLP

Arent Fox LLP's Washington DC-based tax-exempt practice advises its client base of not-for-profits and charitable organizations on real estate and financing transactions. Practice head Richard Newman has a strong reputation for advising on municipal bonds, tax-exempt financing and real estate matters. Other names to note include Richard Krainin and Sean Glynn, highlighted for their respective real estate and financing expertise, and Davis Sherman, who is especially active in the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

Richard Newman

Work highlights

  • Advised the Institute for Defense Analyses on the restructuring of five financings, as well as the structuring and crossing off of two new financings; the latter includes $250m of tax-exempt revenue bonds for the new Potomac Yard headquarters.
  • Represented the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in its acquisition of an office location, including related tax planning.
  • Advised Provident on the tax-exempt bond financing, leasing and redevelopment of Howard Center (an existing mixed-use building owned by Howard University) into residential and dormitory units for students.
  • Acted for the National Public Radio in the financing of its new headquarters.
  • Represented Fannie Mae in financing the rehabilitation and preservation of The Hargrave House, a 113-unit, affordable senior housing development in Manhattan.

Arnold & Porter

The Washington DC-based tax-exempt organizations practice at Arnold & Porter advises not-for-profit clients on a range of tax, governance, and operational issues, and assists corporate entities with nonprofit related organizations and charitable programs. The group has been particularly active in advising clients in the medical research space, but has also been engaged by a variety of other high-profile organizations, including Times Up. Jointly led by James Joseph and Bridget Weiss, the team is also able to leverage the wider-firm's full service capabilities to provide comprehensive support in areas such as intellectual property and employment. Another name to note is Kevin O’Neill, who specializes in legislative and public policy matters.

Practice head(s):

James Joseph;  Bridget Weiss

Other key lawyers:

Kevin O’Neill

Key clients

Lieber Institute for Brain Development

Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation

Time’s Up Now

American Wind Energy Association

United Nations Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advised Times Up on its formation and structuring and on the applications for tax-exempt status. Also assisting with operational issues, such as intellectual property (including registering and enforcing trademarks), employment matters, programs and activities, and partnerships with other organizations.
  • Advising Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, and its two primary initiatives, LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org, on a range of matters such as the Foundation’s tax-exempt status, employment matters, intellectual property, charitable giving and grantmaking, partnerships, international activities and branches, and other operating issues.
  • Assisting Global Fund to End Modern Slavery with governmental funding, human resources, tax-exempt and charitable status, and compliance issues.
  • Advised Generation: You Employed on structuring its organization and operations from its inception and continues to provide ongoing general legal advice.
  • Advised The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research on its transaction with Cambridge University to establish The Mark Foundation Institute for Integrated Cancer Medicine at Cambridge, a new institute that aims to revolutionize cancer care by maximizing big data collected from patients.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP advises its nonprofit client base on a full range of issues including corporate transactions, taxation, real estate, intellectual property, litigation, and employment law. The practice group is jointly led by St. Louis-based Keith Kehrer and Gino Serra who sits in the Kansas City office. Kehrer specializes in advising tax-exempt organizations on tax issues, as well as lobbying, political campaign activity and unrelated business income matters, and Serra is most active for clients in the life sciences industry.

Practice head(s):

Keith Kehrer; Gino Serra


I have worked with Keith Kehrer and his colleagues for more than 20 years and the level of service we have received is outstanding. Their knowledge of our organization, their interest in and concern about our work, and their splendid legal guidance are invaluable on our team.

In addition to always responding timely to any issue or question we ask, Keith and his colleagues are also very proactive in making sure we are aware of any developments in NFP legal issues that could impact our work.

Our team includes Keith Kehrer (partner), Chris Girouard (associate) and Tim O’Connell (associate). Each is exceptionally knowledgeable in their area of law, and just genuinely delightful to work with. I can’t imagine working with a legal team that I enjoy or respect more.

Key clients

Anheuser-Busch Foundation


Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation

Charity: Water

Civic Progress

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Denver Health and Hospitals Authority

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Dred Scott Heritage Foundation

Emerson Charitable Trust

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Southern Illinois

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

Great Circle

Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Historical Society

Operation Food Search

Project Home Again Foundation

Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

St. Louis Science Center

St. Louis University

Stowers Institute for Medical Research

The Denver Foundation

The Riggio Foundation

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)

United States Olympic Committee (USOC)

United States Swimming

USA Basketball

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

X PRIZE Foundation

YouthBridge Community Foundation

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP's tax-exempt organizations practice handles a range of matters for its nonprofit clients, with expertise spanning tax matters, corporate governance and compliance, transactional support and fundraising matters. Seattle-based Laverne Woods heads the practice group, which also includes Jean Tom and counsels J. J. Harwayne Leitner and Marisa Meltebeke, who are based in San Francisco, New York and Portland, respectively.

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Based in San Francisco, Farella Braun + Martel LLP has a diverse tax-exempt client base, including community, private, family and corporate foundations, charitable trusts and public charities. The group advises on a variety of tax matters, organization structuring and regulatory considerations, and brings together skill sets in the firm's other practice groups, including employment, corporate and real estate, to provide nonprofits a full service approach. Barbara Murphy, who has particular expertise in philanthropic planning, jointly heads the team alongside Cynthia Rowland.

Key clients

Beneficial State Foundation

Bently Foundation

Burning Man Project

California Health Care Foundation

Canobie Films Foundation

Color Foundation

Ginungagap Foundation

Holy Angels University (a private Catholic university in Angeles City, Philippines) and Friends of Holy Angels University

Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund

NextGen Action / NextGen America

Province of the Holy Name, Western Dominance Province

Satellite Healthcare

Skywords Foundation

TomKat Foundation / TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation / Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor

Walt Disney Family Museum / Walt Disney Family Foundation

Wells Fargo Bank, Investment Trustee of the Buck Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Burning Man Project, an arts festival organization and international arts movement, on corporate structuring, tax compliance and property acquisition matters.
  • Advised Virgin Holdings on its charitable fundraising efforts, tax issues and compliance.
  • Assisted Province of the Holy Name, Western Dominance Province with the review, analysis and restructuring of its tax and legal status; also advising on governance.
  • Advised Walt Disney Family Foundation and Walt Disney Family Museum on structuring, tax and regulatory compliance, and other issues.
  • Represented Bently Foundation in creating a disclaimer foundation for estate tax saving; included advice on the structuring, tax and regulatory matters, investing, and national and international philanthropic planning.

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP's tax-exempt organizations practice advises not-for-profits, such as schools, universities and charitable organizations, on a range of fundraising and investment, tax compliance, real estate and labor and employment matters. In addition, the team assists high-net-worth individuals and families with charitable planning. Names to note include Michele McKinnon and Jean Gordon Carter, who are based in Richmond and Raleigh, respectively. McKinnon focuses on tax compliance, governance, endowment and investment matters, while Carter has particular expertise in estate planning and administration and charitable giving.

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP fields a cross-departmental team that advises not-for-profit clients on tax and wealth management, corporate and financing transactions, intellectual property, and litigation. Philadelphia-based Joseph Lundy leads the practice, and has experience advising tax-exempt organisations on issues such as IRS audits, transactions, tax-exempt financing and general compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Lundy

Key clients

The Barnes Foundation

Villanova University

Work highlights

  • Advising the Barnes Foundation on real estate, board governance and trust and estate law.
  • Advising a large private foundation on issues such as corporate governance, compliance, finance, and real estate development.
  • Acting for a national human services non-profit in employment litigation.
  • Advising a private research university on intellectual property matters.
  • Representing an Ivy League research university in bankruptcy and intellectual property matters.